Golf injury prevention
Golf is supposed to be a relaxed enjoyable event. Most of us leave tense and frustrated but there is not need to get hurt while torturing yourself. At Doroski Chiropractic Neurology in the Woodbridge, Dale City VA area golf injuries are very common. Chiropractors are well versed in the biomechanics of the back and they are a great place to go for treatment and rehabilitation. Here are some basics to help you prevent injury.
- Warm-up before playing golf to prevent low back pain
Warming up sounds so simple but even I am guilty of jumping out of my car and in to the golf cart. Then stand on the first tee and twist to the right then back to the left, light a cigar and we are off. Worked so-so when I was younger not at all now that I am in my 40’s. A thorough warm-up before starting to golf—including stretching and easy swings—is critical for the muscles to get ready for the game.
First, start with stretching before beginning to play golf. Stretching should emphasize the shoulder, torso, and hip regions as well as the hamstring muscles.
The shoulder and torso may be stretched by holding a golf club behind the neck and shoulders and then rotating the torso.
The hips maybe stretched by pulling the knee to the chest.
The hamstrings maybe stretched by bending over and trying to touch the toes.
Next, gently swinging a golf club helps warm up the necessary muscle groups and prepares them for the torque (force) and torsion (twisting) that a golf swing produces. Time permitting, going to the driving range before a golf game is very helpful. Golf practice should begin with the smaller irons and progress up to the larger woods. This process allows the muscles to incrementally warm up.
Overall, muscles that have been stretched and gradually loaded are much less prone to being injured while playing golf and can take more stress before either being strained or sprained.
- Practice swinging before playing golf to prevent low back pain
The objective of a golf swing is to develop significant clubhead speed, and to do this a lot of torque (force) and torsion (twisting) is applied to the low back. Golfers should emphasize a smooth, rhythmic swing, as this produces less stress and less low back pain (such as minimizing muscular effort and disc and facet joint loading).
With a proper swing, the shoulder, pelvis (hip), and thoracolumbar segments (chest and lower spine) rotate to share the load of the swing. The shoulder and hip turn, along with the wrist snap, will produce more clubhead velocity than a stiff arm swing.
Good balance while golfing is achieved by slightly bending the knees and keeping the feet approximately shoulder-width apart. The spine should be straight, and the golfer should bend forward from the hips. Weight should be distributed evenly on the balls of the feet.
As most golfers will agree, while developing an easy, fluid swing may be desirable in terms of reducing stress to the low back and preventing low back pain, this is often easier said than done. To avoid a low back injury, beginners would be well advised to work with a golf pro when starting out, since most aspects of a golf swing are not natural or intuitive. Additionally, golf lessons may be useful for senior golfers who have decreased flexibility and strength.
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